January 4, 2007

Consolidated Planned Unit Development and Map Amendment - 1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW
(File Number Z.C. 06-13)

The Commission commented on the proposed action of the District of Columbia Zoning Commission to approve a planned unit development and related zoning map amendment for 1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW (Square 163, Lots 803-847). The proposed building is a commercial office building of twelve stories, approximately 134 feet high including a parapet. The Commission’s authority on District zoning amendments extends to a proposed project’s impact on the federal interest. The identified federal interest related to this project is the Height of Buildings Act of 1910.

The Commission advised the Zoning Commission that the proposed parapet feature may exceed the allowable height in the Height of Buildings Act. Section 7 of the Height Act states that, “no parapet walls shall extend above the limit of height.” Therefore, the Commission recommended that NCPC staff and District Office of Planning staff work together to better define architectural elements such as a parapet, cornice, etc., that are used to embellish buildings.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Consolidated Planned Unit Development and Map Amendment for Washington Gateway at New York and Florida Avenues, NE
(File Number Z.C. 06-14)

The Commission commented on a proposed action of the District of Columbia Zoning Commission to approve a consolidated planned unit development for the proposed mixed-use project known as Washington Gateway, which would occupy a 3.1 acre triangular site bounded by New York Avenue, NE on the North, Florida Avenue, NE on the South, and the right-of-way for Metrorail’s red line on the east. The site lies just outside the northern boundary of the original L’Enfant City. The project includes a building that would provide hotel and residential space on the site’s western side and an office building on the eastern portion of the site with retail along Florida Avenue. Entry to both buildings would be from a landscaped plaza in the center of the site.

The identified federal interests related to this project include the intersection of New York and Florida Avenues, identified as a Prime Site in NCPC’s Memorials and Museums Master Plan; Florida Avenue, the northern boundary of the original L’Enfant City; the Height of Buildings Act of 1910; the Headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the New York Avenue Metrorail station; and the Metrorail right-of-way. In evaluating this project, the Commission concluded that:
• By using measuring points along the elevated approach to the New York Avenue Viaduct over the Metrorail tracks, the project is inconsistent with the Height of Buildings Act of 1910.
• The height of the residential/hotel building raises security concerns for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Headquarters Building.
• The planned entrances to the parking garage and loading docks, which are immediately adjacent to the intersection of New York and Florida Avenues, would adversely affect this significant gateway to the city and diminish opportunities for locating a significant commemorative work in this area.

Therefore the Commission, recommended that the Zoning Commission, pursuant to its procedures, reconsider its approval of this project in light of its application of the Height Act in other cases and the Commission’s concern about how the Height Act was applied here, and require the applicant to:

• Consult with the General Services Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to resolve security concerns.
• Modify the design of the residential/hotel building at the intersection of New York and Florida Avenues to improve the character of this important gateway and potential commemorative work site.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Consent Calendar: The Commission voted on Consent Calendar items without staff presentations or public testimony.

Delegated Decisions: Projects for which the Commission delegated decision-making authority to the Chairman, Executive Committee, or Executive Director.